Sunday, 29 March 2015

Great inter team battle at Williams that results in a fifth and sixth place finish in Malaysia

(Williams Martini Racing Team)

The Williams Martini Racing Team will leave Malaysia somewhat disappointed after Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa finished the race in 5th and 6th place respectively following a fantastic inter team battle between the pair resulting in Bottas pulling off a brilliant overtaking manoeuvre on Massa to finish the race just ahead of the Brazilian.

It made for a nice change following the race here last season where the pair got involved in a battle of team orders however this year it was great for the fans as there were team orders and the pair were allowed to race each other.

After a promising start during winter testing, the Grove based outfit appear to have fallen behind when it comes to overall race pace as they finished behind both Ferrari’s and both Mercedes cars on Sunday. The team now find themselves in third place in the championship on 30 points, 22 behind Scuderia Ferrari who took victory in Malaysia today with Sebastian Vettel.

Neither Sir Frank nor Claire Williams were at the race this weekend and they may be disappointed that the team were unable to challenge for a podium finish. However Rob Smedley, Williams Martini Racing Team’s Head of Performance Engineering was happy with how the team finished the race. The Englishman stated:

It was a good team performance and we finished with the maximum points on offer considering the pace of the car. It was a tough race in the heat but there are areas of the package that we have to improve. We made a good recovery from a difficult Saturday and it was good to have both cars racing each other, although at one stage they were a bit too close.

A number of Formula One pundits believe that the team are lacking the financial resources to keep up in the development race and that is why they have now fallen behind Ferrari as well as Mercedes however this is unlikely to be the case as it is still extremely early days in this year’s championship. Valtteri Bottas, who was competing in his first race of the season did a fantastic job to finish the race in fifth place when you consider that he is carrying a back injury which forced him out of the season opening Australian Grand Prix two weeks ago.

Speaking about Sunday’s race the Finn said:

It was a nice race in the end. I was always in the wrong place at the start and lost a lot. I made the most of the performance of the car and it was nice to be able to race Felipe at the end. We know we have some work to do, we need to learn from our mistakes and keep progressing. Some upgrades that are due shortly will hopefully be a step in the right direction.

While Bottas was happy with his performance, in contrast Felipe Massa was not so happy with how his day went. Speaking following the race, the Brazilian said:

I don’t think we had a fantastic day today. We had a small problem in the pitstop and as a result it gave Valtteri the chance to catch me, it was good to race wheel to wheel though. We got the best points we could for the team given the where the car is at the moment.

© Ben Johnston 2015

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